Start, Formula E, Diriyah, 2019

Formula E could take “decades” to match Formula 1 performance – Todt

Formula E

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FIA president Jean Todt does not expect Formula E will be able to match Formula 1’s performance levels for years – possibly even decades.

The profile of the all-electric championship has risen since it started five years ago. It will become a world championship for the first time when its next season begins at the end of next year.

However Todt does not believe it could become a rival to Formula 1 because of the difference in the length of the races and the speeds the cars reach.

“You could not envisage to have Formula E substituting Formula 1,” he said. FE races last three-quarters of an hour at average speeds of up to 118kph (73mph). F1 races run for more than twice as long and the average speeds more than twice as high over distances in excess of 300 kilometres.”

“There is not one [electric] race car able to do 300 kilometres at Formula 1 speed today,” said Todt. “I mean, it would be decades before it can happen, if it does happen.”

Todt says the limitations in the performance of all-electric cars is why Formula 1 should retain the V6 hybrid turbo power units it introduced in 2014.

“Simply, today, hybrid is the proper choice,” he said. “The next step is to see how well we can secure greener fuels.”

Formula 1 has set a target to reduce its carbon emissions to “net zero” by 2030.

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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  • 62 comments on “Formula E could take “decades” to match Formula 1 performance – Todt”

    1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
      19th December 2019, 8:44

      Some things take longer to happen than we would like. Some things happen that we don’t want, but everything changes. Formula One cannot be isolated from the political and cultural pressures regarding pollution and climate change. Eventually ICE cars racing cars will be unpalatable to a future generation.

      Lets embrace the future.

      1. @sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk NO! let’s hold tight to the present because it won’t last long…!

        Motorsport will die eventually, anyway (or is dying, whichever way you wanna look at it). Heck, I took the v10s for granted, god darn it…

        1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
          19th December 2019, 9:36

          Yes I REALLY miss the V10s. I think the current engines are not the way to go. 100% ICE or %100 electric would be better from a cost and sporting standpoint.

          What I should have said is celebrate the past but embrace the future.

          1. I think current engines are the best from the last 30 years.

            1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
              19th December 2019, 15:14

              They are certainly the most efficient F1 engines ever and technological masterpieces.

              Unfortunately they are stupidly expensive and add nothing to the racing.

    2. It is reasonable if we consider:
      – decades referred to a low number of decades, like 20 years
      – no major change in batteries development
      – performance referred to both speed and distance – as stated in the article

      My feeling is different, but maybe it’s just a hope. Electric market is gaining a lot of traction and within 20 years I hope we’ll see some major breakthrough in energy storage density, driven by the increasing needs of millions of people. Let’s focus on the fact that the only thing keeping FE far from F1 are batteries.

      1. @m-bagattini the advances have happened, solid state batteries exist. I expect if you wanted a proof of concept, you could build a car today that used them that could be very similar in performance to an F1 car. They’re not yet commercial products as there are issues with them like number of recharge cycles, affects of temperature and production costs. Cost being no issue, I would to see what could be built!

        Conventional batteries are quickly improving in energy density as well as dropping in price rapidly as well as the technology becomes more widely produced.

        I think a lot of the current rhetoric is deliberate misinformation to disguise how quickly the technology the powers F1 is becoming obsolete.

        1. They are not improving in energy density but they are being massproduced and cheap. Im looking forward to oceans full of batteries aswell as plastics.

          1. Well, as long as we stop filling them with all the garbage gasoline production entails, we’ll be fine.

          2. Actually they are steadily improving energy density.
            And all the major manufacturers are planning to fully recycle batteries to make production sustainable. It will take time, but it will happen.

            1. …. did you just imply that if they recycle batteries, there is less of an environmental impact?

              Even in 2019, we can’t have an honest debate, because people get tribal. STOP LYING TO YOURSELVES! Even electric cars are bad for the enviroment… WE are bad for the enviroment as a whole. You buying a car with a dashboard that’s made of naturally felled leaves changes nothing.

              Furthermore, the holier than thou attitudes drive more people the other way as well.

              Spare us, please. Even if f1 went -all electric, traveling all over the globe for sport is still massively bad for the enviroment.

              Also where do people think this electricity for a massive changeover to electric cars would come from?

              You ppl remind me of Kickstarter …

        2. They’re not yet commercial products as there are issues with them like number of recharge cycles, affects of temperature and production costs. Cost being no issue, I would to see what could be built!

          This sounds exactly the area F1 thrives in.

          1. @drycrust exactly my thought! It’s a shame they aren’t involved. FE had dodged this as well to keep costs low by using a strandardised battery. Unfortunately for now it seems this battle is being staged behind closed doors.

        3. The energy density of gasoline is about 44 MJ/kg; the energy density of lithiun-ion batteries is about 0.3 MJ/kg. If the battery energy density could be improved by a factor of 10 (3 MJ/kg – doubtful) and if the efficiency of an F1 engine were 50% then 100 kg/petrol for the race produces about 2200 MJ of usable energy. To produce this much power a battery would weigh a bit over 700 kg. All these numbers are rough and quick and don’t calculate in regenerative energy, etc. but you can see the point…..

    3. @antznz I’m going to deepen my knowledge about solid state batteries, thanks for the hint. I’m sure number of charges will not be a problem for future “FE1” while costs will be a limited one. Sure there are issues ahead, like fast discharge needed to boost the car, but challenges are at the root of F1 since the beginning.

      I’m pretty sure electric will overtake hybrid racing sooner than “decades” from now also because no matter how much FIA or petrolheads will stay anchored to an ancient tech, the moment constructors will consider the switch to full electric best for their interests there will be no one racing with fossil fuel.

      How can Mercedes or Renault justify with their investors that they are putting millions in a technology that is no more relevant for their road production in, say, 5 to 10 years? VW has plans to produce 25% of fully electric vehicles by 2025, 40% by 2030 [1]. It’s 10 years from now. Any big company won’t be far behind the leading one, so we should expect a full throttle race to ramp up EV productions. Once we’re at 40, how much will it take to go reach 100%?

      Once those large percentages of produced cars will be EV, investments in hybrid racing will be zeroed in the time of a boards of directors meeting.

        1. @m-bagattini As per the article you reference, I think it is going to be for quite some time that we will be seeing hybrid technology being improved, as there is simply too much lacking with full EV cars for most people. They are expensive and impractical, and let’s not forget the massive amounts of money that will need to be spent on infrastructure to support EV’s if they were to become so popular so relatively soon.

          No, I think ICE technology with electric support, ie. hybrid, is going to be around for quite a while, with it’s ability to sip fuel while recharging batteries on the fly, leaving people with the practicality of ICE cars. Research will continue on greener and synthetic fuels. I see no threat to F1 any time soon.

          1. @robbie surely we’re in times where hybrid is relevant. The question is, will it last “decades”? My feeling is that the transition is more towards the end of its phase: first Prius was released in 1997, for reference. Will hybrid for road cars still be relevant in more than 20 years?

            I’m on a gasoline car and I’ll never switch to hybrid. It will be fully electric or nothing. I need less than 100 Km of range 95% of the times (in fact I need like 20-30 Km per day every working day). I need 300-400 Km for most of the rest and I can figure out something different for the very few times when electric plus stopping for charging won’t be enough (it that’s a scenario we want to account for: Tesla already showed that that’s not really a big problem).
            Above all, I can’t see the advantage of an hybrid car: you still have to maintain the thermal engine which cover most of the maintenance costs after the initial purchase.

            > I see no threat to F1 any time soon

            Neither do I: again, I’m not speaking about “soon”. But “decades”, isn’t it too optimistic?

            1. @m-bagattini, You cannot see the advantage of a hybrid car.

              But just try to imagine millions changing to EV’s almost immediately (lets say within 5-10 years, an optimistic take on the overall live cycle of cars, probably forced on by buy back actions from goverments/producers).
              There will be a HUGE issue with the practicality of it. Where are all these cars going to recharge (talking about high rises, you cannot just “plug it in” to a socket on the street and run a cable over the parking lots.)
              And even if we manage that – the grids won’t be up to all the pull from those cars to cope.
              A better bet would be doing away with car ownership altogether for many millions – investing into EV public transport.

              But take the people who DO need to drive 250-500 regularly. Or even 200 regularly in all the places where charging won’t be that easy in the next 2 decades. For them having a hybrid car, which allows us to drive the range, and then switch to electric mode once you hit the agglomerations is a great solution.
              And then think about all the hundreds of thousands of heavy trucks shipping our stuff around the continents – do you think we can waste the cargo capacity on heavy batteries, diminishing payloads? Think again.

              If the fuels used get made with processes that are not as taxing on the environment (at best even a carbon sink!) that would be a far more viable solution.

            2. @bascb for our scope (F1 vs electric) it doesn’t really matter if we’ll be able to cope with the increasing request of EV and infrastructure. And it doesn’t really matter if heavy trucks will stay on diesel for another 100 years.

              My point is: will Mercedes, Renault or Honda (Ferrari has a different road cars market) invest a single Euro on hybrid the moment they’ll see the end of that technology? Will any engine manufacturer be suicidal enough to enter F1 with all the costs needed to try to catch up the current companies to develop an engine that has no future?

              Just take a look at the list of competitors in FE: Mercedes, Audi, Porsche, BMW, Nissan, DS, Mahindra. More importantly, constructors are entering FE year over year. F1 has just 4 engine manufacturers and we still don’t know who will be in after 2020.

              We have to face the truth: F1 as we know will be the Blockbuster of motor racing in a matter of years, not decades.

            3. Sorry, but it matters hugely what buses and trucks drive on. First of all, there it will be far less of an emotional thing, and far more of an economical question (that is why pollution tests for trucks are stricter than for normal cars in Europe, for example).
              I think we’re nearer a future where all city centres mandate that all delivery vans and trucks supplying in the centre have to be EV (Buses is already a large push either for electric or at least gas, with some hydrogen-electric experiments). So then having a hybrid engine can be a “life saver” since the truck can go on diesel for the long trip, but finish it off on electric drive to get to it’s destination.
              Commercial traffic is a huge part of the fossile fuel use and road transport (about a quarter) and it won’t be ignored.

              You also ignore how large a part of both Renault and Mercedes is the truck/bus market both supply to @m-bagattini (just as the VW group does, to name an example, or say FIAT/IVECO).

              Yeah, off course car manufacturers go for FE – it is good for their image (especially Diesel-gate afflicted VW/AUDI/Porsche) and it is for bargain basement cost level compared to most other motorsport series as well.

              The changes the FIA are making might help keep at least these 4 we have in F1 with cost cap meaning that it will be easier to quantify how much F1 costs.
              And the idea of using F1 to develop cleaner fuels will help keep the likes of Shell, BP, Excon etc involved, since all of them need to find an alternative source for oil. Also, the high pressure environment of F1 can be a boost for just about any business, just look at what McLaren applied tech & Williams and recently Mercedes as well (and to an extent RB too) do with that.

          2. I’ll get straight to the point @robbie. GM have signed an agreement with LG to build a gigafactory in Ohio.
            It will have a capacity of 50% more than the Teslsa gigafactory. GM have also just opened a battery manufacturing factory in China in a partnership with SAIC a local company.
            Ford has a multi billion $ deal with VW to produce autonomous and electric vehicles.
            The Laws in several European countries including GB will change outlawing the sales of new diesel or petrol engines.
            Here’s a bit of a list of countries and major cities that are signed up so far for a ban on diesel engines with some banning petrol as well from as early as 2025.
            Copenhagen- Denmark, Rome-Italy,Norway,Athens, France , Madrid, Mexico City, India,
            Ireland, Israel, Brussels-Belgium, Netherlands, Taiwan, Germany, Nth America as expected will be slow being 2050 – California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts,
            New York, Oregon,
            Rhode Island, and Vermont. Canadian provinces:
            Québec.
            China has not yet finalised a date but 2030 is looking like the date.
            Now not all of these countries will be implementing a total ban and the bans on diesel will come in before petrol in general. But the manufacturers are not going to wait till the last minute. They can’t just flick a switch with production so they are gearing up now. Hybrids are going to survive but are not the preferred option so they are being prioritized down. Self driving full electric or hydrogen electric are being developed as the main form of private transport.

            1. Even if you add up all that capacity that is going to ENTER the market in the next 5-10 years, it will only be at best 20-25% of production capacity (at the end of that decade). That means that by the end of the next decade maybe 6th of the whole car park could be electric.

              Even if the whole world would really forbid selling of new combustion vehicles (just private cars, or semi trucks, trains, ships as well ???) in a decade or so that would mean 5-folding the amount of EV production vs. current plans until then. That is highly unlikely to succeed.

            2. @bascb the whole world does not have to ban ICE only the major markets. When that happens the rest will just fall into line.
              I can’t tell you the % but I think the majority of passenger trains are electric already, as for trucks, they may get a short term exemption…or not.
              Ships? That’s a bit of obfuscation and really has nothing to do with the the motoring industry.
              The figures I’ve presented are real as are the upcoming changes in regulations. They are the minimum changes, I would say more are in the pipeline. Yes I’m speculating.
              I think you are speculating.
              But we’ll see.

            3. @johnrkh – Quite a substantial amount of trains (especially if we include freight trains) in the word are not electrified.

              Ships have a lot to do with motoring – research into syntethic fuels will probably have a huge effect especially in sectors like sea & air transport, because batteries are unlikely to be very viable there.

              I have been looking into the numbers recently about the amount of EV’s being built and new production capacity that is actually being built or at least being planned (as in companies planning new factories/refurbishing factories) and provided all these become a reality in the next 5 years, they are going to ramp up to achieve about 15-20% of new vehicle production (% dependent in part on whether you count vans, trucks etc). Currently we are not much over 5% of production capacity and it will take time to get to the 15-20% mark.

              The current vehicle park in western countries is about a decade, so it will take ages to replace all of them unless there will be massive buybacks (and only if these don’t result in older vehicles being sold off to africa/asia/S-America)

            4. Let me illustrate – trains running on electricity:

              Electrification of U.S. Railways: Pie in the Sky, or Realistic Goal? from 2018 – and no, a Trump administration is not all that likely to invest in electrification of railways.

              EU electrified railway lines in % See, yes, in Lux, NL, BE most trains run on electricity, in Germany it’s a bit over half, but in the UK, for example there’s only about a third of tracks that is actually electrified.
              According to Wikipedia in 2006 about 50% of all rail transport was with electric traction.
              On that same EU statistics page, look at the 30 or so charging points for EV’s in the UK (2017 number), or market share of EV cars.

            5. @bascb Some good info there thanks.

            6. @bascb, that statistic for the UK was 29 charging stations per 100,000 inhabitants in the UK – the way you’ve expressed it seems to suggest that there were only 29 charging stations in the whole of the UK, which is not at all what is being suggested.

              With regards to the question you asked about charging locations, in the UK at least, there have been a few major supermarket chains which have now announced partnerships with automotive manufacturers to install free charging points in their car parks – Tesco, for example, is partnering with VW for such a scheme.

        2. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
          19th December 2019, 11:44

          You know when an article starts by quoting a country and western singer, you will have to take what is said with a pinch of salt. There are so many misnomers and misconceptions cited its hard to know where to start.

          I bought a second hand EV two years ago. The car is 6 years old and the battery is at 93% health. At that rate if will still continue to have a healthy range in 15 years time. Most ICE cars are scrapped after 20 years. Anyone who telss you battery life will be a problem going forward is nuts.

          Apart from saving me £1500 a year in running costs and tax there has been hardly any other effect on my motoring life. Occasionally it is a pain when I go long distance but this is more than offset by the savings. Day to day I never need to think about ‘filling up’. My car is full every morning. Its the future.

          1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
            19th December 2019, 11:49

            Also the infrastructure will happen. The private sector will pay as there is money to be made. Electric cars coming to the market now or soon will NOT be too expensive or impractical. In the next 2-5 years they will cheaper than ICE cars and have 200-400 mile ranges. Just watch them sell then!

            1. Sorry @sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk, but while I agree that EV’s can certainly be a very viable alternative for a large part of the private car park, I think you are too optimistic about how fast infrastructure will be available and the cost of these cars.
              The grid in many places will have to be seriously upgraded for mass use of EV’s and that alone can take a decade to do.

              The models that are coming on the market in the next 2 years will NOT be cheaper than ICE cars.

              Currently EV’s are often up to 30-50% more expensive to buy (but yes, you do save on fuel, and depending on where you live you might save on taxes), and while that is coming down, quite fast in the next few years, they will still start out at prices that are “only” 20-25% more expensive than ICE cars (off course governments can give tax incentives to counter that, but not all do)

            2. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
              21st December 2019, 13:35

              hey @bascb
              wake up and smell the coffee.
              Electric cars WILL be cheaper to buy in 2-5 years and they are already much cheaper to run.

              https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-04-12/electric-vehicle-battery-shrinks-and-so-does-the-total-cost

            3. Oh, I smell the coffee alright @sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk I work in MAKING the coffee.

              Those cars will not be cheaper, unless states compensate part of the investment with tax exemptions, bonuses etc, simply because for now they are quite a bit more expensive to make and car companies are not (yet) ready to cut their margins to sell more EVs.

              And it might be that it costs less, that depends on the price of electricity you actually pay. Also, you somehow assume that everyone can get the money together (or get credit) to make that investment. Something that simply is not true for everyone in the world.

            4. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
              22nd December 2019, 15:07

              So @bascb
              Did you read the article I linked?
              Which part did you not agree with?
              I’m curious.

            5. To be honest @sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk your tone of comment made me not even notice there was a link in that post earlier.

              But now that you mention it, I had a look at that article and it is interesting reading.

              I do not really disagree with the article as such. But notice a couple of things. First of all, it mentions cost being about equal in short “for larger vehicles in Europe” – compare that to my notion that most cars will not be cheaper in EV version, and you will see that the “difference” is in the article mentioning the first category where the trend to EV’s not being too expensive (still not cheaper, just not much more expensive) while I was talking about the whole market.
              To get high penetration, we need the US, Europe AND Asia. And we need mostly the smaller vehicles.

              Another key point is in understanding what is meant when the article talks about that point of price equivalence coming in 2022 (for said category of vehicles). You must understand that the year 2022 is when these cars are INTRODUCED in the market. That normally means they are produced in the low thousands that year and start getting shipped to first customers. In reality a large part of the market will get the opportunity to buy these cars only from 2023 and further.

              And that is why I still stand by my opinion, that it is not realistic to expect any mass adoption of EVs in the next 5 years.
              – EVs are relatively expensive, so only premium buyers can afford them
              – It is still a few years before EVs start to come into the market (with good range AND price) in larger volumes, and almost a decade before we get to over 20% of new cars build being EVs

              – apart from that I don’t see a realistic way to upgrade power grids in time (and fail to understand how to provide mass loading in cities with high density living in high rises) to cope with earlier mass adaption anyway.

            6. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
              22nd December 2019, 22:20

              @bascb my apologies regarding my tone. I’m just so enthused by the future on EVs I get frustrated when other people don’t have the same enthusiasm.

              In part I think this may be a UK-USA thing. The power grid in the UK is very robust. We used 16% less electric this year than last. From the studies I’ve read if 75% of drivers switched to electric the extra requirement would be about 10%, so we are well covered. Bear in mind charging mostly happens off peak so no issues there either.

              In the UK used EVs are very roughly 30% move expensive than equivalent ICE cars. I bought a 3 year old Nissan Leaf for £7500 2 years ago. An equivalent ICE car would have been about £4800, but as I’m saving £1500 a year in running costs an tax, I’m already better off. I’ll keep it another 3-4 years at least (The battery will be at about 80% by then so still very sell-able). Agreed the initial outlay may be an issue, but this is a cheaper and cleaner way to run a car and this will only improve over time.

              Perhaps I am being a little over optimistic regards the immediate future, but the direction of travel is clear EVs really are the future.

              Merry Christmas

            7. @sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk, thank you for the christmas wish, I wish you a merry christmas as well.

              Interesting to read that the grid in the UK is very solid – Is this a relatively new thing?
              I ask because a company i worked for 10 years ago started a new warehouse in the UK (with magnetic cranes for lifting 20-30t steel coils going to Mini and Honda) and told me they had to install a huge emergency power supply because the grid was not stable enough to safely operate those magnetic cranes.

              I agree that the market for EV can vary from one country to another a lot, because government incentives (see Norway for example, or how the Netherlands got the densest network of charging points in Europe) play a significant factor. Apart from the affluency of the market as such.

          2. @sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk I completely agree with you. I was citing the article to quote the figures the manufacturers are aiming to.

    4. Decades!?!

      I thought because of our use fossil fuels the world would be ending in 12 years…

      1. That was his take on “will never happen” without mentioning the End of The World.

    5. The ICE will be around for a lot longer yet. Until somebody comes along and makes electric cars that are affordable to all (not just the rich) then all these manufacturers promising to make all electric (or a % of) cars by such and such dates wont mean that the ICE will be relegated to museums. How many motorbikes are there in Asia? Do you really think somebody is going to manufacture 2 billion electric bikes that can be afforded by 90% of the people in Asia. And where are countries like Indonesia and the Philippines going to generate the electricity to power all these machines when their currently grid infrastructure will absolutely not cope (and doesn’t cope now with just normal day to day life/requirements)
      Did Steam trains completely disappear after the diesel or electric trains were invented? They may not be used for day to day life commuting, but in the UK there are lots of steam railways still in existence (mainly run by volunteers) because there is a market/demand for them (and the ECO warriors don’t protest them). Surely F1 can still exist in 30 years time as a ICE/Hybrid racing series that entertains and excites. Ask yourselves, if F1 still had V8’s or V10’s or even the currently v6 Hybrids in 25 years time would you stop watching it? Would it be socially unacceptable to enjoy said hobby/sport? No, of course not.
      Like I said, until someone does what Henry Ford did a century ago and make the (electric) automobile affordable to everyone WORLDWIDE (including the very poor, who can currently buy a second hand ICE car in the UK for about 500quid) then not a lot will change worldwide. Only in the rich western countries.

      1. The very poor aint very poor any longer it seems….
        Anyways the cheap used cars you speak of trickles down from whatever the “rich” buys so soon enough the very poor will be buying £500 electric vehicles. Or more likely smash them to pieces and sell the parts.

        1. I am afraid to break the bad news to everyone in the west, but the very poor are still very poor. And this is the view of an Englishman that travels through south east Asia every year. It will be a very long time before you will find a Tesla for 500quid in the UK, let alone in the poorer countries. And in South east Asia the car isnt even the main form of transport! All the billions of motorbikes. the millions of small boats with outboard ICE engines. How quickly do you think the trickle down economics would work so that ALL these forms of transport are run by solid state battery electric motors? And the overhaul of the power grids in these poorer countries (I use the word grid very loosely) is probably never going to be signed off by the corrupt and poor governments. The UK struggles to finance and build the high speed rail 2. And thats a rich country with the necessary infrastructure in place. How do you think countries like the Philippines and Indonesia would be able to completely start from scratch in implementing a proper electricity grid to be able to service all homes/cars/distribution. It is the west being narrow minded as usual. It is pie in the sky.
          Electric vehicles are a false dawn, unless ALL electricity comes from renewable sources.
          The only true way forward for the whole planet to become better, and move forward TOGETHER, is to create a motor that runs on water, to safely separate the hydrogen and oxygen, run the engine on the hydrogen, and the only waste is the stuff we need to breathe. But every time somebody comes up with a way of doing this they ‘magically’ disappear.
          Anyhoo, back to F1. the main thing the sport needs to do is sort out its ridiculous ‘back and forth’ calendar. That would sort out a lot of unnecessary pollution the sport makes. The pollution from the cars going round in circles twice a month for a couple of hours is nothing in the big scheme of things. Certainly doesnt even come close the the pollution linked to the English/German/Spanish football leagues and all the millions of fans travelling to games every Saturday/Wednesday. Its just an easy target because the ICE is on display within the sport itself.

      2. I see you have also seen more of the world than England / Europe @gubstar.

        Yeah, it will take far longer to even get near the target of replacing a majority of the vehicle parks in the world.

      3. I hate to tell you but the list price for many electric vehicles are often now the same as their ice counterparts. Take the new mini for example. VW reduced development costs by 40% production cost by designing their Id series solely as electric cars. Making a ice chassis electric is expensive. Yes you still need to be able to afford a new car but increasingly the electric option will be very similar to comparible ice vehicles.

        1. You forget running costs and depreciation. An electric car can run for what 10 years maybe? If the battery was looked after properly? Cars run longer, muuuch longer. Its not a problem if you live in Western Europe, or Norway or some other place where money is no object. But the rest of the world? China as dictatorship can afford to just “tell” people to drive electric only, but the rest of the world cant.

    6. Clockwork cars. It’s the only future that makes sense. Just need a way to store enough kinetic energy :-)

      1. About 2006 I saw an article on TV where a man got a bicycle and attached a large spring “clock spring” to it. I guess the intention was that he could use the spring to power up hills, but it seemed to me the effort to propel the bicycle and rider was even greater than before fitting the spring, even on the flat.

    7. “The next step is to see how well we can secure greener fuels.”

      Why not allow teams to use fuels other than 95 octane petrol? For example maybe someone wants to use a gas like Methane (I think that’s equivalent to 120 Octane). Why not allow teams to trade off fuel capacity for larger batteries and electric motors?

    8. So it’s good that the Formula E people got their 50 year exclusivity deal? By then they will be beating F1 and F1 can never compete with them in the mean time

    9. haris katsaounis
      19th December 2019, 19:34

      Nice exchange of opinions.
      My idea is that F1 racing using ICEs will be able to survive through this green economy charade. The question is one of popularity. Horse racing (eg the original Grand Prix) is still here,not making the first pages anymore yet still magic,rich and glamourous. Regarding mobility there are a couple of considerations not taken seriously into account by the advocates of the damned sustainability. 1. The great majority of passenger cars are 4-5 seaters. From what we see on the streets most of the times are operated currying around just the driver . 2. Cars rightfully have to go through a myriad of omollogation rules plus systematic inspections yet are capapable at doubling the legal speed limits… The daily car for the future must be light with skinny tires,small efficient ICE and connected.

    10. Good. So open up the design rules for FE and we won’t have to worry about the speed factor in safety that we have in F1 that creates such a rules driven formula.

    11. Suffering Williams Fan
      19th December 2019, 21:12

      Someone should probably tell Jean that predicting technological development decades into the future is not a high probability play.

    12. I’d be interested in seeing if inductive charging built into custom race tracks could do for the battery life of FE vehicles. If you can get enough charge in regularly there is the chance you could increase the distance the cars could cover while increasing the power output at the same time. The technology is still in its infancy and we will see more efficient motors, denser storage batteries, improved energy recovery systems and possibly top up charging as they race. I think in 10 years time the discussion will be about when F1 will be stopped as a relic.

      Little article on some of the inductive charging tech.
      https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/new-cars/road-charges-your-electric-car

    13. This opinion is not that surprising, as some years before there were some “racecars” with batteries weighing close to 1000kg built in. Imagine a hard head-on crash with 1000kg dead weight behind you.
      Although a groundbreaking innovation at battery technology can render non-electric cars nostalgia any time, that’s not impossible. Interestingly electric transportation existed at 1907, and worked quite well.
      https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23531420-600-how-crooks-stalled-the-rise-of-electric-cars-for-100-years/

    14. Guess they can’t see the writing on the wall. The ICE is going to go the way of the mechanical wristwatch. What makes F1 so awesome is the extreme technology. If they had any brains, they would just start developing the most technologically advanced E-cars in the world and then tell Formula E that they are now second rate next to F1. F1 would be electric, but the advanced tech that makes F1 so awesome would still apply.

    15. I’ll be surprised if it is not done before year 2030.

      Considering petrol engine is improving very slowly and electric power plants are improving exponentially.

      Offcorse we are way off for now, but in last 10 years we went from Priuses with 20k range to electric cars with 400k range. By 2030 we should see 4000k range from same weight of batteries. And once those batteries are able to sustain 500kW for 2 hours ~ 1000kWh lets call it 1 MWh F1 will be done for.

      Currently F1 cars carry 1.5 MWh petrol onboard at start of the race. then run at 50% ish efficiency. And for that they have about 200kg of mass. Once batteries can do that, FE will exceed F1 performance.

      But long before technology is motorsport viable, we will use it in cars where one tenth of motorsport requirements is good enough.

    16. F1 needs to scrap the 2021 rules and create a cheap legacy series based on V8s or V10s, whatever parts can be mass produced more cheaply.
      More importantly stop the delusion that F1 is still road relevant. The big 3 German car companies didn’t’ all invest billions of Euros into battery technology and actual factories, if hybrid turbos are really the future.
      ICE motorsports are dying. It’s not even if converting current single seaters into electric is going to get the younger generation off their phones.

      1. @bigjoe No, no they don’t.

    17. Hmmm I will gladly stake the claim that he will be very wrong. Electric cars have developed at a staggering pace. To even think just a decade ago that we’d have an even remotely serious electric racing car was kinda comical and people would have laughed at you. The pace of development will continue. They will get faster and even if they can’t go a full race distance, they could easily have battery packs that could be swapped out in the same length of time it takes to change tyres in a pit stop so you could have even higher performance and let’s say a mandated 2 pit stops per race.

      He will be wrong on this. F1 isn’t going anywhere and will very very likely remain the pinnacle of motorsport for decades to come, but I think FE will grow into its own thing that isn’t far off and could surpass it in some of the ways it already has in terms of accessibility for fans etc.

    18. I’d like to see a hydrogen-electric turbo hybrid engine formula with relaxed rules for electric energy deployment. Make the focus for power delivery the electric system to drive rapid development of the technology.

    19. Electric car is just fine for traveling from point A to point B that’s just a mere means of transportation but for Motorsports where emotions are involved we will always need a roaring engine.

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